Lindela Repatriation escapees could have been an inside job: Motsoaledi

Minister Aaron Motsoaledihas visited the Lindela Repatriation Centre, outside Krugersdorp.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says that the escape of 37 people from the Lindela Repatriation Centre outside Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg, could have been an inside job. The detainees were awaiting deportation.

Motsoaledi, who visited the centre earlier on Wednesday, also blames the security guards for abandoning their posts.

“These escapes, it is an inside job because there is a CCTV centre, it works 24 hours. They saw the escapees and they caught them. This place was under liquidation. We inherited the company that guards this place from the liquidator. They had a squabble with their workers. This is the preliminary investigation that we’ve got. They had the squabble with their workers who knocked off at 2 o’clock and the escape happened at 5.”

‘Security company to be held accountable’

The Minister has vowed to ensure that the security company is held accountable for the escapees. Security personnel have been suspended following the incident which happened on Sunday.

“I saw through the CCTV camera, they just climbed the walls and escaped through and the guards that were there they were just being overpowered because they knew that they are no enough guards they left. So it is an inside job nobody could have escaped without being aided by people inside here, so they aided them.

“The company suspended those guards. We as the department of Home Affairs will deal with the company. It should have never happened it something that should never have that is why we are investigating it,” Motsoaledi explains.

On Tuesday, the Minister dismissed reports of overcrowding at the centre. This was after a video, believed to have been filmed at the weekend, showing foreign nationals inside an overcrowded facility was posted on social media by an organisation calling itself the Black Power Civil Rights Movement, raising concerns over lack of social distancing.

Motsoaledi said that lockdown regulations are being adhered to at the centre.